Don’t blow the last 6 months of progress just because you have an excuse to…
We are headed into my least favorite time of year… The holidays are filled with overeating, candy, food gift baskets, parties, booze, and everything else I fight off every day… Don ‘t get me wrong, I love the positivity surrounding the holidays, I love spending time with friends and family, and giving gifts for Christmas is my absolute favorite! But, it’s hard to be surrounded by people that don’t have goals like mine. With no blame intended, there is a reason I used to weigh 400 pounds. I like to eat. When my family gets together, the food is awesome and there’s always enough to feed an army. So what happens when I have access to all the food I used to eat (and shouldn’t) and it feels unlimited? Yes, I stuff myself with every last bite I can uncomfortably stand and I sit there in shame until I decide I should go eat more just because it’s sitting there…
Here’s a couple quick tips to control yourself during the holidays.
- Eat with the right mindset. The holidays are no different, eat for nutrition and energy. Don’t just eat because all the food is sitting in front of you and you have an excuse to.
- Portion Control is key. I use a super small plate and small fork/spoon. Research has shown that by using large plates, cups and utensils, we naturally overeat because we tend to fill our plate/bowl. Using a smaller plate naturally decreases the amount of food we take.
- Variety increases consumption. The more food you have in front of you, the more you take, the more you eat. Sounds simple, but it is a little deeper and more complicated. Research shows that we tend to eat “equal” portions of what is in front of us. If we have 3 items on our plate, we tend to try and balance the portions of each item. Problem is, if we have 10 items in front of us, we do the same. This naturally leads to overeating simply because it increase the total portion size.
- Drink a big glass of water before you eat. This will help your stomach “feel” before you start eating. Because it takes somewhere around 20 minutes for our brain to register that food is entering our stomach, it is important to get the brain “feeling” long before we start eating… When you feel fuller before you start eating and mix it with smaller plates/bowls, you will eat less.
- Stop, wait and think before you get seconds. I know I will eat an entire plate of food and then just go for seconds right away just because it is sitting in front of me and I have easy access. When your first plate is done, wait 5 minutes before scooping in for more. Give yourself time to realize how much food you’ve already had.
- Leave the table. I know the dinner table is a great place to catch up with friends and family, but move to the couch, take a walk, get out of the kitchen. The easier it is to grab a bite here and there, the more you will consume without realizing it.
- Clean up dinner right away. Out of sight, out of mind. By cleaning everything up right away, you decrease your chances of grazing just because it’s there. The more effort it takes to get more food, the less you will eat throughout the day.
- Wait for desert! This is tough for me as sweets are a big weakness of mine. I love pumpkin pie and I would eat it exclusively if I could… Don’t pile on the pie when you’re already full. Wait and hour before you break out the deserts. Have one piece and be done. If today was “normal” would you consume and entire pie by yourself? No, so don’t use the holidays as an excuse to over consume…
- Leftovers… We no longer take leftovers home. As bad as I generally eat for the holidays, I don’t need to continue eating like that for the next 5 days… I know there are people starving all over the world, but get rid of the excess food. (Really you should make less to begin with…) Don’t cause yourself more problems by creating that temptation in your own fridge for the next week.
- Take a walk. After lunch or dinner go for a walk. With the chemicals and types of food we over consume during the holidays, it takes a toll on our mind and body. T’s really easy to just sit on the couch and watch football for the rest of the day. Get outside and start moving. This will help get your blood flowing and your digestive system working. More importantly, it will keep you out of the kitchen!
My love/hate relationship with food is my own problem, but I know a lot of people struggle just like I do. I want to help people become aware of how simple it can be to reduce our food consumption during the holidays. But as Jim Rohn says, “it’s simple, but it ain’t easy”. Enjoy yourself, the company of friends and family, and relax a bit. But don’t forget how hard you’ve worked on your fitness and health. Don’t lose all of your progress in a day. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Be smart and don’t lose focus on what is most important to you…
Run Epic My Friends